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Platforms & Sensors

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Current platform configurations include both a traditional Fixed Wing UAVs and Vertical Take-Off & Landing VTOL systems. Sensors range from Scientific Lumenera cameras (RGB & NIR imagery) and ICI Thermal cameras to custom sensors that can be adapted/modified to either platform for scientific research applications.

AggieAir Service Center Manager:
Research Engineer
Ian Gowing

Researcher Ian Gowing
(w) 435-797-3159
(c) 435-760-8842
Office: 236B

Utah Water Research Laboratory
Utah State University

1600 Canyon Road
Logan, UT


GreatBlue - Hybrid VTOL/Fixed Wing

  • 3 Payload Camera Configuration
  • Flight Elevation: 120 m to 1,000 m AGL
  • Image Resolution: 0.02 m to 0.20 m (visual bands)
  • Coverage Area: 15+ sq miles
  • Linear Distance: 200+ miles
  • Speed: ≈22 mps

The Great Shark, by FOXTECH, is AggieAir’s newest aerial platform. This transition UAV utilizes vertical flight for take off and landing, as well as fixed-wing flight for 2.5+ hours of flight time. The platform itself weighs 13lbs, with a max takeoff weight of 46 lbs including a 10 lb payload, and is made of a Kevlar material which is light and durable.

The Great White

Minion - Fixed Wing

  • 3 Payload Camera Configuration
  • Flight Elevation: 120 m to 1,000 m AGL
  • Image Resolution: 0.02 m to 0.20 m (visual bands)
  • Coverage Area: 5 sq miles
  • Linear Distance: 50 miles
  • Speed: 30-35 mph

Minion 2.0 is AggieAir’s current main aerial platform. Designed specially for aerial remote sensing independent of a runway.


Matrice - VTOL

  • 3 Payload Camera Configuration
  • Flight Duration: 30 minutes
  • Coverage Area:
  • Linear Distance: 5 km
  • Speed:

AggieAir utilizes two of these multi-rodor drones in it's UAV fleet. The DJI Matrice 600 has improved flight performance and better loading capacities for AggieAir's payload configuaration.



MicaSense Altum Camera Sensor 

This advanced camera, produced by MicaSense, integrates a radiometric thermal camera with five high resolution narrow bands, (Red, Green, Blue, red edge and near-IR). Five high-resolution lenses result in detailed scientific imagery and detailed digital surface models. 

This camera comes with DLS 2, a light sensor with cutting-edge technology for irradiance and sun angle measurements. 

Lumenera Lt965R & Lt1265R Camera Sensors

Lumenera's industrial-grade cameras give AggieAir the ability to capture and save time synchronized, high-quality raw images at 1.5 FPS at full resolution. This camera is used with a high-quality Schneider 16mm lens. The resolving power of this lens is matched to the camera and produces crsip, clear images.

ICI 9640 Thermal Camera Sensor

This IR camera is the upgraded version of the ICI 7640 and has many of the same great features. However, it comes in a much smaller package and has a non-uniformity correction flag. Like the 7640, the 9640is radiometric and comes calibrated using an intense lab calibration procedure. Additional calibration is performed during the flight to compensate for effects of atmosphere and convection.

Spectral Filters

Spectral filters are commonly used to either select or eliminate information for an image based on the wavelength of the information primarily determined by light passing through a glass or plastic window specially treated to transmit or absorb/reflect some wavelengths.

The AggieAir Service Center has the following available filters:


  • (575 - 625 nm)
  • Feature classification
  • Enhances the yellow hue found in aquatic & land vegetation

LandSat NIR

  • (830 - 880 nm)
  • Broader vegetation analysis
  • Biomass studies

Vegetation Red Edge

  • (675 - 725 nm)
  • Measures plant health
  • Vegetation classification

LandSat Red

  • (630 - 680 nm)
  • Vegetation discrimination
  • Specializes in bare soil & road classification
  • Geological feature visibility

Coastal Blue

  • (400 - 450 nm)
  • Vegetation analysis
  • Enhances bathymetric studies

RGB LandSat

  • (450-690 nm)
  • Aquatic Habitat Studies

Propeller Aeropoints

Propeller AeroPoints

Propeller Aeropoints are smart ground control targets with built in GNSS that makes accurate remote sensing data both extremely easy and quick to capture.

Scientific Equipment

Various equipment can be used to customize every mission's agenda. Below are a few of the options available.

Portable Davis Vantage Pro Weather Station

This portable weather station can be located on-site & contains a suite of sensors including an anemoeter, rain collector, temperature, humidity, and solar irradiance sensor.

Air Quality Sensors

This sensor is used to measure ozone levels.

Total Station

An electronic instrument used for surveying, reading slope distances and performing advanced coordinate calculations.

Leaf Area Index Sensor

Sensor used to describe the state and progress of crop canopies.

Portable Soil Moisture Sensor

Portable sensor to measure soil moisture content.


Mounted Weather Station

This weather station records humidity, atmospheric pressure, and air temperature.


This system is designed to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellites.

Hyperspectral Sensor

This sensor allows us to obtain the spectrum for each pixel in the image of a scene.

Portable SPAD 502 Chlorophyll Meter

A lightweight handheld meter used to measure chlorophyll content of leaves without causing damage to plants.


Sensor to measure energy fluxes and scintillation of light caused by atmospheric conditions.

Incident Light Sensor

This sensor compensates for cloud cover, haze, and
shifting solar intensity.